In Michigan Groundhog Day carries a little more significance than those of you who dwell in more mundane and never changing climes. Winter gets hard around February and even though we snicker at that ridiculous rodent, a little pagan voice inside us prays to Brighid that Phil fails to see his shadow and Spring will come soon.
Every Christian is engaged in the battle of the devil and the world today. Shocked by the culture, disappointed by the grasp of the evil one, those who take comfort in Christ are already in the midst of a fight. Those on the other side believe a story that is not one from the lips of the Triune God. Those on the other side ridicule and belittle a historical account of a savior passed on from generation to generation. Those on the other side proudly declare war on those who trust in the God who created and redeemed. And so there seems to be no other option. Prepare for the war. Ready your weapons.
I have a complicated relationship with David Bazan’s music. I’ve probably seen Pedro the Lion/David Bazan in concert more than I’ve seen any other musician and I have nearly all his band and solo albums. I’ve followed his very public trajectory from conflicted “Christian” artist to denial of what he sees as the message of the Bible and of Christianity. In a very real way, I’ve grown up with his music (he’s about three years older than I am).
So, it is over. The big day has finally come and gone. All the preparation, all the work, all the decorations and festivities have been exhausted. What are we left with? An overflowing trash heap with empty amazon boxes and the remnants of wrapping paper. We have the memories, of course, memories of the kids unwrapping the presents and the smiles and the fun of sitting around in our PJ’s and just spending some time with the family. We have eaten more than our share of deserts and Christmas goodies.
Somehow A Charlie Brown Christmas still hits home. After watching it for the 5 millionth time I realized I was Charlie Brown! I used to enjoy the popular Christmas special’s take on the commercialization of Christmas. Amazingly, the same complaints of Charlie Brown’s gang ring true today. “It’s too commercial,” we still cry. In fact, this was one of the complaints of the puritans in the 17th century causing them to ban Christmas celebrations in favor of working on the holiday.
I do not watch Hallmark or Netflix Christmas movies on principle. If that is your thing, go ahead; […]
Several months ago, while assisting on Sunday morning at a Divine Service, I committed a sin.
Sinning at church isn’t a new thing. I’m certain all of us have done so, maybe more often than we’d like or care to admit. But the particulars of my sin on this day troubled me greatly.